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Jake Shields: American Jiu Jitsu Grappling Legend
Wrestling, Grappling, and MMA!
This weekend, at the Professional Fighters League (PFL) 10 event in Washington D.C., Ray Cooper III was able to KO Jake Shields in the first round to advance to their $1 million welterweight tournament.
While Cooper put on an impressive win to defeat Shields for the second time this year (the first fight being in PFL 3 on July 5, 2018), let's look back at the amazing grappling career Jake Shields has had.
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Shields was raised near Mountain Ranch, CA in the Sierra Nevada, where he began amateur wrestling at age nine. He eventually became a 4-year varsity wrestler at Calaveras High School, finishing in 2nd Place at the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) National Freestyle Championships. After High School, he was a two-time junior college All American wrestler at Cuesta College, before receiving a scholarship to wrestle at San Francisco State University.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and ADCC
It was during this time that Shields also began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team, where he would befriend and train with popular UFC (and excellent grapplers) Nick and Nate Diaz.
He won multiple smaller grappling events such as Grapplers Quest and the Gracie Open, but also shined in the biggest tournaments as well- winning the 2005 purple belt Gold Medal at the IBJJF Pan American Championships (Gi Competition) after claiming to have only worn the gi for four hours in his life. Also during that year, Shield's accomplished his greatest grappling accomplishment, where he placed 3rd at the ADCC Submissions Wrestling World Championships in Long Beach, CA. During that tournament, he defeated Diego Sanchez 6-0 in the first round, and then defeated Cameron Earle 3-0 in the Quarterfinals before losing to Pablo Popovitch 5-0 in the Sem-Finals. Most notably, he competed in the 3rd place match, tapping out 4 time World Cup BJJ Champion Leonardo Santos with a Rear Naked Choke. This was all achieved while he was still a purple belt! (He received his black belt from Cesar Gracie in February of 2008)
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American Jiu Jitsu and Recent Grappling Wins
These days, Shields proudly proclaims his style of fighting and grappling to be American Jiu Jitsu- even having it tattooed on his forearm. He describes this style as combining the submission techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the devastating takedowns, throws, and transition of wrestling.
In addition to his busy MMA career, Shields continues to compete in grappling super fights/matches. In recent years, he has defeated notable grapplers such as Dillon Danis (Submission Underground 3), Daniel Strauss (Polaris 5), Murilo Santana (Fight 2 Win Pro 51), and Gilbert Burns (Submission Underground 6).